Clashes between security forces and protesters near Lebanese parliament leave 27 wounded

BEIRUT – Clashes erupted between the Lebanese Internal Security Forces and protesters near the Lebanese Parliament in Beirut today. The Lebanese Red Cross reported on Twitter that the 27 people were wounded in the clashes.

Protesters threw stones at the security forces who blocked the road near the Parliament ahead of a parliamentary session to discuss the general budget for 2020, as the country faces a deep financial crisis. Earlier, local media in Lebanon stated that a problem had occurred between security forces and protesters who had removed the barbed wire fence from the vicinity of the Parliament building, with an increasing number of demonstrators calling for protesting in front of the Parliament.

The Internal Security Forces had requested on Twitter that those involved in the protests should keep their demonstrations peaceful, stay away from the barbed wire, and not try to remove it for their safety.

A number of demonstrators tried to prevent the passing of an MP’s car at the entrance to Beirut’s markets. Furthermore, some people laid down on the ground but were cleared away from the road by security forces.

In the morning, the Internal Security Forces prevented demonstrators from entering al-Najmeh Square, while the protesters called on the army to open the way for them to reach the Parliament.

A problem occurred in the vicinity of the Parliament between a number of demonstrators and security force personnel after the demonstrators were prevented from advancing towards the Parliament and were pushed back. A group of protesters tried to enter one of the ports of al-Najmeh Square, where security forces managed to push them back. They instead gathered at the waterfront opposite the Beirut Naval Base. The protesters appealed to the security forces to open the way for them to enter the Parliament.